Remembering The Beard Wars

bearded gentleman with an extremely long, matted beard

by Mark A. Rayner

“Captain Chiggerson, can you hear me? Captain?”

“I can hear you! I’m blind, not deaf.”

“Sorry Captain, but you didn’t seem to be responding,” the historian asked. He was a young man, and was frankly shocked by the Captain’s long beard, his lifeless eyes. He’d met many veterans of the Beard Wars, but he’d never gotten used to their dead stares, their broken minds, their creepy long beards.

“Well, I was thinking,” Captain Chiggerson explained.

“About the war?”

“Of course I was thinking about the war. What the hell is wrong with you, are you simple? You just asked me about what role I played in the war, ye whippersnapper!”

“Of course, Captain. I didn’t want to interrupt your train of thought, but these Flannigan pornograph recording cylinders are expensive, and they’re only good for a half-hour of recording time.”

“Well, it’s not a thing a man wants to think about. All the lives lost. The horrors”

“Naturally, but it’s important that future generations understand what happened during the Beard Wars. You know, so it never happens again,” the historian said. He sported an impressive set of friendly mutton chops, which left his chin bare, but otherwise covered his face with hair. It was an old-fashioned facial hair style, but he found it made his interview subjects more comfortable, and likely to answer his questions, because their hero, General Hiram I. R. Sute, made the style so famous.

Of course, his current subject couldn’t see, so it wasn’t helping. “So, you were going to tell me about the start of the wars. What did you do before the wars began?” the historian prompted.

“I was a barber.”

The End

The Fridgularity Buy my latest novel, which is the hairy tale of a fridge, a singularity, and a man who didn’t like to split hairs. Available in all formats in all the usual places online:

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Alltop is always in need of a trim. bearded gentleman, a photo by Foxtongue on Flickr. Originally published June, 2012.

A scruff of beards

A clutch of (8) beardsUnfortunately, humanity has lost much since The Golden Age of Beards — a time when the free-flowing exchange of thought, lead propelled at high speed, and yes, competition in beard technology was not only encouraged, but demanded. The philosopher and extemporaneous human, Sean Cullen, says, “give me a beard I can believe!” He was talking about opera, but the yearning … the yearning.

Don’t we all want to see more beards that we can believe? To help us in this quest, we present a clutch of beards.

1. The Maestro– a truly astonishing beard, usually worn by eccentric and brilliant artists. Warning – if you are not an eccentric and brilliant artist, this beard could cause narcolepsy or be a harbinger of incipient tooth-gnashing madness.

2. The Classic — If you have time to time to comb, oil and curl your beard, The Classic may well be the facial hair for you. This beard will turn some heads, particularly at Greco-Roman affairs. Warning – can get you unwanted attention at Greco-Roman affairs!

3. The Waveform — If you have time to time to part your beard every morning, with or without the use of beard-drugs, the waveform may be the beard for you! Warning – tends to cause quantum irregularities and uncontrollable laughter in undergraduate seminars.

4. The Electroco — an impressive beard grown to inordinate long length, The Electroco is not for the amateur beard grower. Warning – tends to catch stray food particles, get caught in zippers and cause potential sex partners to say “eeewwww.”

5. The Lincoln — Let’s be honest on this one; barely anyone can make this geometric nightmare look good, particularly in a pair of chinos and a golf shirt. Warning – may cause an uncontrollable urge to wear a stovepipe hat.

6. The Scrappy — The scrappy is rough and ready chin foliage, low on upkeep, and easy to grow — even for those of you who may be challenged in the production of testosterone. (We’re not judging.) Warning – can make you look like a hippy freak or an effete, absinthe-swigging artist who thinks he is Jesus.

7. El Quixote — This offshoot of the scrappy is a tough look to pull off, but if you’re fond of tilting at windmills on swaybacked horses, this is one you want to sport. Warning – certain to induce a full-on psychotic break after your first bad love affair.

8. Der Lipfinder — You will not like this beard, English. Is too much work to keep that upper lip free of hair, the way God intended. Warning – if you really are wearing Der Lipfinder for religious reasons, be aware that it drives the ladies crazy. Rrrroow!

Alltop is sporting a faux-scrappy. Originally published in April, 2007.

The Slovakian

The Slovakian -- master coach of the beard olympics

To those of us covering the games as journalists, he was known simply as The Slovakian, but to the many athletes who depended on his expertise, he was much, much more than a name.

He was a prickly taskmaster. He bristled whenever an athlete did not make the most of his talents. His sense of humor and pride were best described as ticklish.

And for anyone hoping to win gold, his training regimen was indispensable.

He was the greatest whisker coach of the Beard Olympics.

Alltop enjoys a little facial fungus. Awesome photo by zamario.